To Massachusetts Chapter of NAWA was established on December 6, 2013. This new Chapter will carry out the mission of the National Association of Women Artists, Inc. in the state of Massachusetts. As the Chapter grows they will have an active program of exhibitions, seminars and other educational activities. The Massachusetts Chapter has its own roster of officers and Chairs.  


President — Kim Alemian,
Co-Vice Presidents — Jennifer Jean Costello, Lisa Goren
Secretary — Linda Pearlman Karlsberg,
Treasurer — Lisa Goren , 
Exhibition Chair — Jennifer Jean Costello,
Exhibition Committee — Marsha Nouritza Odabashian,
Scholarship Chair— Rosalie Cuticchia,
Hospitality — Anita Helen Cohen,
Past President—Nella Lush


The Mission of the National Association of Women Artists, Inc. (NAWA) is to foster and promote awareness of, and interest in, visual art created by women in the United States.


The Association promotes culture and education in the visual arts through exhibitions of its members’ works, educational programs, scholarships, awards, its historical archive and other appropriate means.

While encouraging contemporary and emerging artists, the Association honors and continues the long and important contribution of women to the history of American culture and art.


To create greater opportunity for professional women artists in a male-dominated art world, on January 31, 1889, five innovative women, Anita C. Ashley, Adele Frances Bedell, Elizabeth S. Cheever, Grace Fitz-Randolph and Edith Mitchel Prellwitz met to discuss the formation of a women’s art organization. In an era when women artists were associated primarily with crafts and decorative arts, the founders of NAWA envisioned an organization which would promote higher standards for women artists and provide them with the opportunity to exhibit their work.

The history of NAWA is a testament to the strength and resilience of a group of strong women who would not accept being shut out of the art salons, galleries and art exhibitions open to male artists during the 19th century. Their founding of the organization proves that, despite adversity and discrimination — which many feel extends to this day — women are an integral and valuable part of the arts community.

From the onset, the annual exhibitions of the women’s Art Club were a great success, attracting the participation of women artists such as Mary Cassatt, Suzanne Valadon, Rosa Bonheur and Cecelia Beaux. As the organization grew, its membership included prominent artists like Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Anna Hyatt Huntington.

Over the years the organization attracted many talented members who later achieved great recognition for their work. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney established the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City. Anna Hyatt Huntington created the sculpture museum Brookgren Gardens/ in South Carolina.

Many members and supporters have exhibited in major museums and have taken their rightful place among the recognized artists of their time. Louise Nevelson, Malvina Hoffman, Cleo Hartwog, Minna Citron, Nell Blaine, Dorothy Dehner, Alice Neel, Marisol, Pat Adams, Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, Janet Fish and Audrey Flack, and other contemporary talented artists joined the organization making NAWA valid force in its time.

NAWA members represent all areas of the visual arts including painting, sculpture, encaustic photography, print-making, video art, installations and mixed media. The benefits of membership are many, including a substantial Awards program, the opportunity to display artwork throughout the U.S. in our Exhibitions program, and inclusion in NAWA’s Annual Catalog.

Through NAWA’s exhibitions, educational programs, events and archive, the Association fosters awareness of the monumental contribution of women to the history of American Culture and Art.

The organization is inclusive and serves professional women visual artists of all backgrounds and traditions that are at least 18 years of age and U .S. citizens or permanent residents.


The NAWA permanent collection was established under the leadership of Liana Moonie in 1991. Housed at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the NAWA collection contains the work of artists dating from the organization’s earliest days to the present. Parts of the collection are continually on view at the museum and special exhibitions were created under the guidance of Jeffrey Wechsler.